Don’t be that guy who never knows when it’s his turn to play!
This is the continuation of our initiatory journey in the poker room of a casino. In the first part we explained what to do before you settle down at the table. Now that you’re there, here are a few more tips on how to do the right thing.
As we explained in the first part of our article, it’s perfectly normal to feel a little taken aback when you first find yourself in a casino for the first time, there’s so much excitement around you.
But if you take five minutes to recover before you sit down, you’ll be fine. Now, once you’re settled at the table, here are some tips.
A few tips for playing casino
1. A big blind to hit your first cards
Most casinos will make you bet the equivalent of the big blind before you can touch your cards for the first time in the game. This is not true at all casinos, so feel free to ask the dealer if you are unsure.
If you’re close to the big blind, don’t worry, as you’ll have to pay it off quickly anyway. You can also ask to wait until you’re close to the big blind to get into the game.
Once you’re settled, the game goes on just like any other game, except that this time there’s a professional dealer to manage the game for you. Not only is it very comfortable and classy, but it will give you much more time to pay attention to the action and watch your opponents in the evening!
2. Always announce what you are doing
This will make the game much easier for you and the other players at the table. Many complications would not even appear if everyone took the trouble to announce their actions. So you might as well get into this good habit right now.
If you want to call, say “I call”, if you want to raise, say “raise”, then the amount, and only then advance your chips. If you want to pass, say “I pass”.
In addition, announcing your bet will save you from the infamous “string bet”: betting chips in several times when you want to bet or raise, and you have to go through it twice to advance all the chips behind the line. This is prohibited, and in this case only the chips in the first batch will count (in the case of a raise).
3. Always keep your cards in front of your stack and put a chip on top!
This shows that you are still in play. The token placed on top of your cards protects them. If a player throws his cards into the muck and they accidentally touch your cards without being protected, your hand is no longer valid, without any further discussion.
Similarly, if you are sitting in seat 1 or 10 (i.e., right next to the dealer) and the dealer takes your unprotected cards and throws them into the muck, you will not be able to say anything.
So really think about always, always, always protecting your hand. You don’t even have to use a token, your lucky Hello Kitty figure will do the trick if you feel like it.
Stacks of 20 tokens make the game more fluid.
4. Follow the game
Always pay attention to what’s going on. Don’t be that guy who never knows who’s going to play. The dealer usually makes it pretty obvious who’s playing, so be ready when it’s your turn.
But in any case being attentive and following the game well will also help you to play better as we have already reminded you before.
5. Organize your chips into stacks of 10 or 20
This makes betting so much easier. A stack of 20 $1 chips makes $20, a stack of 20 $5 chips makes $100, a stack of 20 $25 chips makes $500, and so on. This makes the game that much more fluid, especially if you are not used to playing with real chips. Yes, unlike online poker, you don’t have the amount of your stack indicated by a number!
It’s also a way to make life easier for everyone when it comes to evaluating an opponent’s stack without even having to ask the dealer for the count.
6. Make sure you’ve retrieved the pot before throwing your hand
Many players threw their hand in the center of the table, thinking they had won, while another player still had his cards in hand.
In this situation, the pot goes to the last player in play. So never throw away your hand before the pot has been dealt to you! Sometimes even some dealers will ask you to pass your hand to them before giving you the chips. Don’t accept and tell them that you want to exchange the cards for the pot.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Asking questions does not make you a patsy. If you’re not used to the way the casino works, ask the dealer, ask the poker room manager or anyone else.
Keep in mind that it’s perfectly normal to feel intimidated the first time you play at a casino, but don’t let your nervousness get in the way. You’re playing the same game you’ve been playing all your life. Concentrate and try to play the way you know how and all the distractions will eventually fade away.
If you need to relax before the game, consider meditation and relaxation techniques.
See also our article on how to avoid stress.
Once you get used to the casino, you’ll forget about the glitz and glitz and finally enjoy the beauty of poker in such a place. Hardly more difficult than counting to five!